Jay Howard Driver Development?s (JHDD) Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship team arrived at Portland International Raceway with plenty of momentum after two wins in the previous two events.
With young American standout, Josh Green, added to the ranks for the penultimate race event of the season alongside Christian Bogle and Christian Rasmussen, all three of the drivers showed progression throughout testing and practice as they familiarized themselves with the circuit.
Qualifying once again demonstrated Rasmussen?s recent strong form has been no fluke, setting the third fastest time in both sessions. Green was able to improve from 15th to 13th between the two sessions, with Bogle again showing improved pace aboard his Pelican Energy-backed machine.
Round 12 of the championship took place under sunny blue skies on Saturday afternoon, and after an incident free opening lap for the entire 18-car field, Rasmussen set about hunting down championship rivals Hunter McElrea and Braden Eves. As McElrea cemented his position at the front, Rasmussen applied significant pressure to Eves in the closing stages of the race but was unable to find a way past. Green enjoyed a very successful debut in the category by advancing to 11th place and securing the ?Hard Charger Award? in the process, with Bogle also advancing two positions to come home in the 16th position.
Sunday?s race, Round 13 of the championship, was an eventful affair for the JHDD team as all three drivers were right in the thick of the action. At the start, Rasmussen and Eves made minor contact in the Festival Curves resulting in a puncture for the Danish driver. Having pitted for a new front left tire, Rasmussen wasted little time in charging back up to the pack, setting the fastest lap in the process and securing the extra point that comes with it. Green showed excellent speed throughout the race and battled it out with championship regulars as he secured his maiden top-10 finish in the series. Bogle also enjoyed plenty of wheel-to-wheel action throughout the second race of the weekend as well, bringing his car home in the 18th position.
Overall, I?m really happy with all of the boys? performance, both drivers and crew members. It was another very solid weekend for the team, although a little disappointed for Rasmussen getting a puncture as he was clearly very quick in the second race. Josh Green did a very good job for his first time in the car, never even seen the car prior to arriving here in Portland. Christian (Bogle) continues to improve with each and every outing and can?t wait for us all to get to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca for the final event of the season.?Team owner Jay Howard
Jay Howard Driver Development Driver Quotes:
First weekend in USF2000, it was a little rough at first as I had no experience in driving downforce cars. The JHDD team did a great job of getting me settled and comfortable in the car. Race 1 was fun, and there was a lot to learn racing with slicks and wings for the first time. I had a great battle with Reece Gold all race long. Race 2, I fell back a bit at the start but worked my way up to P10 and I believe I won the hard charger award once again. Overall, it was such a fun weekend and I have to thank Jay Howard and the whole team again for all of their help.#5 Josh Green
Round 12 ? P11; Round 13 ? P10
It was a weekend of ups and downs. The first race we came home P3 which was great, although we lacked just a tiny bit of pace. The second race, we really had the pace and we got the fastest race lap as well but unfortunately, we had a lap 1 incident which resulted in a puncture. I had to pit for a front left tire which was very unfortunate as when we went back out, we were consistently very, very fast. All we can do now is look forward and focus on finishing the season strong.#6 Christian Rasmussen
Round 12 ? P3; Round 13 ? P17
Just finished up here at Portland International Raceway. Coming into this weekend I was really excited for more seat time and on a new track. I was maintaining less than two seconds off the field the whole weekend and sometimes even 1.5 seconds off. Going into the next USF2000 race weekend at Laguna Seca I?m pretty excited to see what I can do there. Not exactly the pace I wanted to see this past weekend but I?m ready to see what I can do out in California.#7 Christian Bogle
Round 12 ? P16; Round 13 ? P18
— Jay Howard Driver Development Media